Is there such a thing as easy parenting?
No. But when it comes to trying to teach your child, when using the EASY parenting acronym, teaching becomes much easier.
Holly Anderson of the Invest Now parenting program recently explained why her EASY Parenting technique not only makes teaching your kids less complex, but also a whole lot more effective.
But first…what is it, anyway?
What is The Easy Parenting Technique?
While I’ll be going through each part of the acronym below, the short answer is that EASY stands for Example, Asking, Stories, and You.
Let’s go ahead and dive in…
You are an Example to Your Kids
As I said, E stands for an Example, and is meant as a reminder that regardless of what we tell our kids, they are are always watching and observing what we DO.
In fact, there are very few aspects of our lives where our kids aren’t watching the example we set.
They are there when we wake up, go to work, socialize with our friends, engage with our spouses, manage stress, and juggle our busy schedules.
They see us cry when things don’t go our way and pick ourselves up when we know it’s time to move forward.
And as they watch, they are also constructing, taking in what they see and figuring out what their lives should be when they’re older.
I know that, for my child, I want to do the best to be the kind of person I want my kids to grow up to be. I want to do my absolute best to set a positive example.
Ask Inspiring Questions that Make Your Kids Think
I once listened to a two-part episode on Chalene Johnson’s The Chalene Show called “Raising Self Sufficient Financially Responsible Kids with Brock Johnson.”
She shared during that episode how, when her son was ready to purchase a vehicle, he would come to her and ask questions.
She COULD have given him the answer.
But instead, she responded with “what do YOU think?”
Sure she provided guidance and helped steer him in the right direction, but she still made him do everything on his own, every step of the way. That included listing the truck, figuring out what questions he needed to be prepared to answer from potential buyers, and what missteps he needed to avoid.
That had to have been an intimidating process, as a kid.
But he did it.
And, having bought and sold that car all by himself, he had so much pride.
That’s exactly what Holly is referring to when she suggests that you ask questions instead of just spoon-feeding them answers.
By asking questions, you’ll be pushing your kids (possibly outside of their comfort zone) to problem solve on their own. And trust me, mom and dad, they’ll be so much stronger for it.
They’ll grow up less intimidated by the unknown. They’ll have the confidence in themselves to know they can figure things out, themselves.
Teach Using Stories
This is actually the method we use with our free list of 31 questions to ask your kids.
We ask a question, yes, but then we use a real-life story to teach that life lesson.
As Sherry Norfolk explains,
From the beginning of time, storytelling has been the means by which cultures and societies have preserved and celebrated their memories, passed on their values and belief systems, entertained, instructed and reported. Long before there were written records—much less computers—storytellers taught through the oral tradition.
She adds, “Neuroscience is discovering that the brain is wired to organize, retain and access information through story. If that’s true—and it is—then teaching through story means that students will be able to remember what you teach, access that information, and apply it more readily.”
Storytelling doesn’t have to be a challenge.
Draw on the stories of your own childhood, the stories you’re hearing on the news, or the stories you may be reading in magazines (you know, the ones about celebrities that your kids are following on Instagram, already).
You Let Your Kids Learn
The final letter in the EASY acronym is Y for You.
It’s up to YOU to give your children the opportunity to learn.
We’ve all heard of Helicopter parenting. And you may have heard of the more recently identified ‘Lawnmower’ parenting style. With this style of parenting, parents ‘mow down’ all of their kids challenges, obstacles and struggles… before they even get to them.
Parents think they’re helping their kids, making life easier for them. The reality is far different, though.
In raising kids who have experienced minimal struggle, we aren’t raising a generation of kids who are happier. Quite the opposite! We’re creating a generation who has no idea what to do when they actually encounter struggle.
And let’s be real, mom and dad, almost all of us will go through major, life altering struggles in our lives.
I’m not even going to get into the impact those struggles can have on kids who are in no way prepared to handle challenges, who haven’t developed the resiliency to adapt and overcome.
Don’t take challenges away from your kids lives. Teach them that failure is just part of the process and that they need to keep going.
As Dr. Laura says, “Don’t rescue your child from a challenge. Teach them how to face it.”
Final Thoughts on How to Teach Your Child Using the EASY Parenting Technique
Parenting is not easy.
In fact, it’s probably the hardest job most of us will ever have.
But there ARE techniques out there that can make it a whole lot easier, techniques like Holly’s EASY parenting technique.
The acronym stands for:
- Example: Be a Positive One for Your Kids
- Ask: Ask Inspired Questions to Make Them Think
- Stories: Use Storytelling to Impart Valuable Life Lessons
- You: You Let Your Kids Learn
Do you use any of these techniques, individually, with your own kids? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!